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Nearly Three-Quarters of Holiday Travelers Will Abide COVID Restrictions

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Sonora, CA — Due to the coronavirus pandemic public health concerns and restrictions, AAA Northern California expects most of the public to stay home over the year-end holidays.

AAA anticipates at least 34 million fewer travelers compared to last year’s holiday season, but as many as 84.5 million people are expected to hit the skies and roads beginning today and lasting through Jan. 3. However, that is down at least 29 percent from last year.

“With COVID‑19 cases steadily increasing this month, the expected continued rise will prompt some would-be travelers to not follow through with upcoming travel plans,” said Sergio Avila, AAA Northern California spokesperson.

This expectation is in line with Thanksgiving travel trends, according to AAA, which expected up to 50 million people would travel for the Thanksgiving holiday. That number would be a decline of 10 percent from 2019. Although final Thanksgiving travel numbers are not in, AAA thinks the drop will be closer to 15–20 percent.

While road trips declined, it remains the preferred way to travel accounting for 96 percent of holiday travel. Up to 81 million travelers will go by car, a decline of at least 25 percent compared to last year. Air travel will drop by 60 percent, seeing 4.1 million fewer travelers packing into airports than last year, details AAA. There will also be an 87 percent decrease for all other modes of transportation.

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